Agreeableness describes how people differ in their ability to be likeable, pleasant, and harmonious in their interactions with others. People who are described as "kind" by others are also described as "considerate" and "warm".
This implies a superordinate dimension that is relatively stable over time and associated with a wide range of thoughts, feelings, and social behaviours.
Agreeableness is one of the Big Five personality dimensions, the one most concerned with how people differ in their attitudes toward interpersonal relationships. Other traits include:
- Extraversion- Extraverted people have a lot of energy, are sociable, and are good communicators.
- Conscientious characteristics include strong impulsive behaviour, goal focus, dependability, and punctuality.
- Neuroticism- Individuals high in this trait are emotional, anxious, moody, and irritable.
- Openness- This personality trait includes creativity, insight, and a wide range of interests
When a person has a high level of Agreeableness, they are less self-centred and more focused on others. They seek the common good in others, are quick to listen to the opinions of those around them, and seek harmony rather than discord.
Agreeability is critical to psychological well-being, as it predicts mental health, positive affect, and good interpersonal relationships.
Characteristics of a highly agreeable person
The agreeable person does not insult others or question their motives or intentions. They also do not believe they are superior to others. Everyone is on an equal footing with them, and they are quick to empathize with and respect others.
Other words commonly associated with highly agreeable people are: affectionate, altruistic, amiable, caring, cooperative, empathetic, generous, trusting, sympathetic, and warm.
Characteristics of a disagreeable person
The person who is less amenable and more combative, on the other hand, is more likely to be manipulative, callous, aggressive, and competitive. They are unconcerned about other people, make disparaging or offending remarks, lack patience, and are easily irritated and annoyed.
Agreeableness and Conflict Resolution
Agreeability is related to our perception of conflict in our relationships and the techniques we use to resolve it.
When confronted with interpersonal conflict, more agreeable subjects preferred resolving the dispute through negotiation, compromising, and de-escalation. Subjects who were less agreeable were more likely to use scrutiny, physical action, or threats to resolve the same conflicts.
Agreeableness and Positive Relationships
Across a wide range of relationship types, Agreeableness predicts several types of relationship quality and stability. More agreeable people are happier in all types of personal relationships in their lives, including those with family, friends, romantic interests, and even strangers. Agreeableness predicts longer marriages and lower divorce rates among married couples.
Related: Your spouse's personality trait that affects your career success
Benefits of being agreeable
The agreeable is more likely to control their anger and negative emotions and are more likely to avoid conflict. These people are people-oriented and often see others through rose-coloured glasses, looking for the good in everyone.
Negative Aspects of being agreeable
There is a disadvantage to being overly agreeable. People-pleasers, highly agreeable people, often sacrifice their interests because of the need to help, support, or care for others. Other negative aspects include:
- Giving up things that are important to you to avoid arguments or make others happy
- Being exploited by those who aren't so pleasant
- Increased suffering due to their own unmet needs (either as a result of overt manipulation by others or simply because they do not speak up for themselves to make their needs known).
- Conflicts that could lead to positive outcomes and growth are avoided.
- Experiencing burnout and a decrease in the ability to give
- Perfectionism is a personality trait.
Related: Agreeableness personality: The bad side of this trait
Can a person become more agreeable?
According to research, this personality trait is somewhat adaptable as people age. People become more emotionally stable, conscientious, and agreeable in their later years. Here are examples of conditions that can increase Agreeableness:
- The work environment necessitates teamwork and collaboration, which requires a certain level of agreeability.
- Going through adversity in life can make a person more agreeable.
- Exposure to positive role models who exhibit highly agreeable characteristics
- Easy access to opportunities to act altruistically
It may be no surprise that very young children are more self-centred and disagreeable than adults. Adults' experiences with life's ups and downs make them more sympathetic to the suffering of others.
It's also possible that ethical or religious education greatly influences Agreeableness. A third possibility is that we gradually learn that most people are more likely to comply with our requests if we first establish a trusting relationship.
Can a person become less agreeable?
This behaviour change can manifest itself in relationships: a person may feel that their partner has changed. They may recall a much sweeter, more considerate person before they married but it can happen that their partner has transformed into a completely different person.
Career paths that suit highly agreeable people
An agreeable person is people-oriented and has good social skills. These friendly types may be found in sales or human resources. These people make good teammates because they are not out to outperform everyone else.
A highly agreeable person is motivated by the chance to improve the well-being and lives of others. They are altruistic and compassionate. According to this, agreeable people are more likely to thrive as nurses, where they can work as part of a team to care for others.
They are also likely to thrive as teachers because they can form meaningful relationships with students and leave lasting impressions.
Working as a fundraiser for a non-profit organization, on the other hand, is likely to leave an agreeable individual feeling fulfilled and enthused.
Related: Personality and Career Interests: Everything you need to know
Career paths that could prove difficult for highly agreeable people
Individuals with a high level of agreeability seek emotional connections with others. As a result, they are unlikely to thrive in careers requiring them to form meaningful emotional relationships, such as those in finance.
Agreeable individuals are also less likely to be fulfilled by careers that require them to work objectively or logically, such as computer programming or science.
Finally, agreeable people prefer to avoid conflict and dislike having to be direct. As a result, careers as legal practitioners or political figures may be challenging.
It's worth noting that those at the other end of the scale, who score low on Agreeableness, aren't as concerned with the well-being of others. These people are more likely to thrive in occupations that agreeable people struggle with.
Related: Personality Defects: Everything you need to know
How to measure Agreeableness
Like the other four personality factors, Agreeableness is typically assessed using self-report inventories. These questionnaires usually contain statements on which the person taking the test must decide whether they agree, disagree, or fall somewhere between.
Agreeability is a personality trait that describes a person's ability to prioritize the needs of others over their own. Working with people who require additional assistance is a particular strength of highly agreeable people.
While it is widely regarded as a strength to be extremely agreeable, it must also be managed correctly because others can take advantage of this good nature.